Album review: PATTERN-SEEKING ANIMALS – Pattern-Seeking Animals

PATTERN-SEEKING ANIMALS - Pattern-Seeking Animals

Inside Out [Release date 05.07.19]

Pattern-Seeking Animals maybe a new band, however its members have a long and shared history as it features John Boegehold, who started the idea of this band and writes and works with Spock’s Beard. Joining him are current Spock’s Beard members vocalist Ted Leonard (who also played the guitars on the album) and bassist Dave Meros, along with former Spock’s Beard drummer/vocalist Jimmy Keegan.

John Boegehold wanted Pattern-Seeking Animals to “…produce music that’s progressive and intricate while keeping things immediate and melodic. Whether a song is four minutes or ten minutes long, I didn’t want more than a few bars go by without some kind of instrumental or vocal hook.”

There are Spock’s Beard similarities, which can’t be avoided given the line-up and the fact Ted Leonard is singing, however Pattern-Seeking Animals go big on the melody and use of lush musical arrangements, not only on the longer songs like ‘’Orphans Of The Universe’, but also on the shorter songs like the excellent ‘These Are My Things’.

‘No One Ever Died And Made Me King’ is a monster of a tune, with a big chorus and equally big guitar riff (Ted Leonard shines throughout on his guitar playing), along with lots of keys – one part reminds me of a David Bowie tune but can’t recall which one!

Pattern-Seeking Animals look set to be in this for the long run and have produced a strong, melodic progressive rock album. Spock’s Beard fans will doubtless like it as will those who enjoy the melodic delights of bands such as Flying Colors and Supertramp. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

John Boegehold answered a few questions including how Pattern-Seeking Animals came together and what they have planned next…

How did Pattern-Seeking Animals come together?

Originally I just wanted to record live drums for some songs I’d been working on last year so I recruited Jimmy and booked time with Rich Mouser at The Mouse House here in L.A. In the time before that session, I finished a few more songs and added them to the list. Since at that point there was potentially enough for an album, I decided to produce them all as if it might end up as one then talked with Ted and Dave to see if they’d be into contributing. It didn’t start out to be a band but quickly evolved into one as things progressed.

Will PSA be purely studio based, or is the idea to play live and become a long term band?

Definitely long term band and more than just a studio project. We’re just starting to get offers to play live so we should have some shows either later this year or more likely early in 2020. A lot of logistics to figure out but we’re intent on making it work. We’re talking to one or two additional musicians since it’d be virtually impossible to pull off the songs as recorded as a four-piece.

For someone looking at the musicians involved and given the heavy Spock’s Beard connections, how would you say PSA differs from Spock’s Beard sound wise?

Right at the top, the keyboards and guitars aren’t the same. I’m playing and programming all of the synths and Ted Leonard is the guitarist. Our styles are quite a bit different than our counterparts in SB. Also, I approached producing the album differently than may be expected. All that said, I suspect everyone will have their own opinion as to how similar we sound.

You have done many film scores. Which have been the most memorable and what for you makes a good film score? Does this help in creating the epic soundscapes that appear on the PSA album and when writing for Spock’s Beard?

The one that first comes to mind was a documentary I did called “The Great Year” which was narrated by James Earl Jones about the fall of ancient civilizations that may have been related to celestial cycles. I was quite happy how the music turned out in that one. I do think some of my scoring experience and ideas find their way into my songwriting and producing.

What made you want to compose and play music?

Early on I started to realize that there was little or no future in being an admittedly average bass player in a series of unremarkable bands and that being able to write would expand my opportunities. Songwriting always seemed mysterious and difficult to me but I jumped in feet first and immediately loved doing it, as horrible as I was in the beginning.

Message for your fans…out there!

Thanks for listening, hope you like what you heard and stay tuned for much more music coming from Pattern-Seeking Animals in the very near future!

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